ABA Journal

Legal Writing

325 ABA Journal Legal Writing articles.

Authors of ‘50 Lessons for Happy Lawyers’ share some top tips

Even during times less tumultuous than the one we are in now, lawyers as a profession report high levels of stress. It was this challenge that lawyers Nora Riva Bergman and Chelsy A. Castro set out to address in their new book.

Why law professors should co-author academic articles with law students

I started writing law review articles in mid-career, after many years of publishing academic articles in STEM journals. Arriving to academic law with an outsider’s perspective (my PhD is in engineering; I have a faculty appointment at UCLA in both engineering and law), I was surprised to learn that law is an exception among academic disciplines in relation to authorship of scholarly works. In most other disciplines, it is routine—and in fact expected—for faculty to co-author scholarly publications with graduate students.

Judge’s error of law is ‘mistake’ under rule allowing reopened judgments, Supreme Court rules

A judge’s error of law is a “mistake” within the meaning of the federal rule that allows judgments to be reopened, subject to a one-year statute of limitations, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

These 3 Supreme Court justices each earned more than $100K from book projects last year

Financial disclosure forms indicate that three justices on the U.S. Supreme Court each earned more than $100,000 in 2021 as a result of book deals.

Supreme Court backlog is the largest in percentage terms since at least 1950

More than half of the cases on the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket have yet to be decided.  As of Friday, the court had 33 opinions remaining, which amounts to 53% of its argued cases this term.

How to verify proper spelling and understand that words change over time

A law office is a kind of publishing house. We issue legal documents to be read sometimes by small audiences, sometimes by large ones. Because we’re a literary profession, we want to get things right.

John Lennon’s lawyer turns paperback writer to recount little-known case

Jay Bergen’s representation of Lennon always made for a good story, last month he shared the case on a grander scale. He published Lennon, the Mobster & the Lawyer—The Untold Story, which recounts his representation of Lennon.

Work for Canadian residential school survivors informs lawyer’s debut novel

A lawyer explains how her work informed the writing of her book and why many Indigenous people still feel the impact of the Canadian school system to this day.

How is ‘amicus’ pronounced? Justice Breyer and Judge Jackson disagree with each other and the majority view

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was once a law clerk for the justice she will replace, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, but she didn’t adopt his pronunciation of “amicus.”

Duped: New book explores what makes people confess to crimes they didn’t commit

Hanging on a wall in Saul Kassin’s office at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City are photos of 28 people who confessed to crimes they didn’t commit. He periodically updates this collection, which he calls his “wall of faces,” as more false confessions come to light. Kassin has written a new book exploring this phenomenon, Duped: Why Innocent People Confess and Why We Believe Their Confessions.

Grammar Rules: The case of the unhyphenated phrasal adjectives

Before this honorable court is the complaint of Marian Short-Dash, who accuses her local newspaper, the Blunderbuss Clarion, of omitting “obligatory hyphens” from phrasal adjectives, thereby impairing her ability to read without annoyance.

After Supreme Court copyright fight, Georgia makes annotated legal code freely available

Georgia capped a yearslong legal fight over whether interpretations of its official state code are copyrightable, announcing Monday that the annotated legal code is now available online for free.

The justice system is the antagonist in retired judge’s legal thriller novel

Retired judge and bestselling novelist Martin Clark had to deal with his fair share of rejection before he finally broke in more than two decades ago with his debut novel, The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living.

Tough decision to make? Here’s how to break it down like a lawyer

Law professor Kim Wehle is used to helping her students begin to think like lawyers. But the methodology behind making tough decisions as a legal professional can also benefit the general public. It's why How To Think Like a Lawyer—and Why: A Common-Sense Guide to Everyday Dilemmas was a natural follow-up to her two previous books, How To Read the Constitution—and Why and What You Need To Know About Voting—and Why.

A few ‘begats’ and ‘thou shalts’: An abbreviated history of lawyers

Where are the lawyers? As a retired one, I recently wondered about this, querying where in history we see lawyers mentioned and in what light? Actually, after thinking about it, I see little or no sign of lawyers for millennia.

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